Nabih Berri

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Nabih Berri
نبيه بري
Nabih Berri.jpg
Speaker of the Parliament of Lebanon
Incumbent
Assumed office
20 October 1992
PresidentElias Hrawi
Émile Lahoud
Michel Sleiman
Preceded byHussein el-Husseini
Personal details
Born(1938-01-28) 28 January 1938 (age 76)
Bo, Sierra Leone
NationalityLebanese
Political partyAmal Movement
Spouse(s)Randa Berri
ReligionTwelver Shia Islam
Websitewww.nabihberry.com
 
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Nabih Berri
نبيه بري
Nabih Berri.jpg
Speaker of the Parliament of Lebanon
Incumbent
Assumed office
20 October 1992
PresidentElias Hrawi
Émile Lahoud
Michel Sleiman
Preceded byHussein el-Husseini
Personal details
Born(1938-01-28) 28 January 1938 (age 76)
Bo, Sierra Leone
NationalityLebanese
Political partyAmal Movement
Spouse(s)Randa Berri
ReligionTwelver Shia Islam
Websitewww.nabihberry.com

Nabih Berri (Arabic: نبيه بري‎; born 28 January 1938) is the Speaker of the Parliament of Lebanon. He heads the Amal Movement.[1][2][3]

Early life and education[edit]

He was born in Bo, Sierra Leone to Lebanese parents on 28 January 1938.[4]

Berri went to school in Tebnine and Ain Ebel in southern Lebanon, then continued his education in Bint Jbeil and Jaafariya supplementary schools in southern Lebanon and later studied at the Makassed and the Ecole de la Sagesse in Beirut. He graduated with a Law degree from the Lebanese University in 1963, where he had served as the student body president, and became a lawyer at the Court of Appeals.[3][5]

Early career[edit]

During 1963, Berri was elected as president of the National Union of Lebanese Students,[6] and participated to student and political conferences. During his early career he became a lawyer at the Court of Appeals. In the early 1970s, Berri worked in Beirut as a lawyer for several companies.

In 1980, Berri was elected leader of the Amal Movement,[7] This caused increasing cooperation with the Israelis in the south, which allowed for several officials defect from Amal and found Islamic Amal, which later transformed into Hezbollah.

He was the key player of the sectarian Intifada of 6 February 1984 against the Lebanese government, where Shia officers and soldiers were called to defect from the Lebanese Army.[8]

Berri also joined the National Unity government as minister of state for South Lebanon and reconstruction under Prime Minister Rashid Karami in May 1984.[9] He also served as the minister of housing and co-operatives.[3]

Later political career[edit]

Berri served as a cabinet minister from 1984 till 1992:[10]

Due to strong Syrian backing and to Berri's proximity to Syrian officials in Lebanon, he was reported to have the biggest influence in the Lebanese government formed after the Taif Accord.[12]

Berri headed the list of "Liberation" in the parliamentary elections that took place in southern Lebanon on 6 September 1992, which was won in full. The other lists he headed were "Liberation and Development" in the parliamentary elections on 8 September 1996, which was won in full. Since 1992 he chairs the Liberation and Development parliamentary bloc.[13]

In 1996 Berri was involved in corruption allegations about a coastal motorway in southern Lebanon. The contract for the motorway was won by a firm run by Berri's wife, Randa Assi, and Lebanese government officials admitted that it was overpriced by hundreds of millions of US dollars.[14][15]

Berri headed the list of "Resistance and Development" in the parliamentary elections that took place in southern Lebanon on 3 September 2000, which was won in full. He also headed the list of Liberation and Development in the parliamentary elections which took place in June 2005, which was won in full. Currently, Berri heads the list of "Liberation and Development" in the parliamentary elections on 7 June 2009. All the members of the Bloc won the elections on 2009.

Speaker Nabih Berri was always and still a big supporter of the dialogue between all the Lebanese parties, religions and sects, during the last national dialogue session in May 2014, Speaker Nabih Berri has stressed that "power-sharing between Christians and Muslims in Lebanon would not change under any circumstance saying he was speaking on behalf of Shiites, Sunnis and Druze".[16][17]

He was elected Speaker of the parliament of Lebanon for the first time on 20 October 1992 (105 votes out of 124 votes).[18] He was re-elected for a second time on 22 October 1996 (122 votes out of 126 votes). He was elected to the same post three more times on 17 October 2000 unanimously (124 votes out of 126 votes), on 28 June 2005 (90 votes out of 126 votes)[19] and on 25 June 2009 (90 votes out of 127 votes)[10]

Since 1999, he chairs the Arab Parliament Committee in charge of disclosing the Israeli crimes against Arab civilians. On 3 June 2003, he was elected president of the Arab Parliament and handed the presidency in Damascus on 1 March 2004 for a period of two years. He was elected president of the Council of the Parliamentary Union of the Member States.[3]

Nabih Berri was elected President of the Parliamentary Union of the OIC Member States in Dakar-Senegal in 9 March 2004 until 9 March 2006.[3][20]

In 2004, Berri was mentioned in one of the diplomatic cables leaked by WikiLeaks. The cable said that Amal had problems with corruption, and that Berri was described by a relative of Musa al-Sadr as having provided social services in the south only through "wheeling, dealing, and stealing".[21]

Since 1993, he chairs the Union of Parliamentarians of Lebanese Descent including 156 members of parliament and senators from 19 countries.[3][22]

Personal life[edit]

Nabih Berri is married to Randa Assi Berri.[23]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Fandy, Mamoun (2007). (Un)civil war of words: media and politics in the Arab world. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 75. ISBN 978-0-275-99393-1. Retrieved 25 April 2011. 
  2. ^ Nir, Omri (15 February 2011). Nabih Berri and Lebanese Politics. Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 978-0-230-10535-5. Retrieved 25 April 2011. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f "Nabih Berry Biography". 
  4. ^ "Nabih Berri". Wars of Lebanon. Retrieved 27 January 2013. 
  5. ^ official website of the Lebanese parliament. Country-data.com. Retrieved on 5 August 2014.
  6. ^ Nabih Mustafa Berri biography. Whichcame1st.com. Retrieved on 5 August 2014.
  7. ^ Amal. Countrystudies.us. Retrieved on 5 August 2014.
  8. ^ Daily star newspaper. Dailystar.com.lb. Retrieved on 5 August 2014.
  9. ^ Owen, Roger (October 1984). "The Lebanese Crisis: Fragmentation or Reconciliation?". Third World Quarterly 6 (4): 934–949. doi:10.1080/01436598408419807. Retrieved 11 March 2013. 
  10. ^ a b "Lebanese Parliament official website". 
  11. ^ a b "Minister of justice". FamousWhy. 
  12. ^ Haddad, Simon (April 2002). "Cultural diversity and sectarian attitudes in postwar Lebanon". Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies 28 (2): 291–306. doi:10.1080/13691830220124341. Retrieved 3 July 2012. 
  13. ^ Official Lebanese parliament website. (PDF) . Retrieved on 5 August 2014.
  14. ^ Johnson, Michael (2001). All Honorable Men: The Social Origins Of War In Lebanon, p.236
  15. ^ Schwerna, Tobias (2010). Lebanon: A Model of Consociational Conflict, p.128
  16. ^ Kechichian, Joseph A. (6 May 2014). "No change in power-sharing formula in Lebanon". 
  17. ^ Leaders praise Sleiman at final Dialogue session. Dailystar.com.lb. 6 May 2014.
  18. ^ "Nabih Berri Facts". YourDictionary, Under Syria's Influence part. 
  19. ^ Mallat, Chibli. Lebanon's Cedar Revolution An essay on non-violence and justice. Mallat. p. 122. 
  20. ^ OIC official website
  21. ^ The "independent Shia" of Lebanon: What Wikileaks tells us about American efforts to find an alternative to Hizballah
  22. ^ the daily star. the daily star (21 April 1998). Retrieved on 5 August 2014.
  23. ^ Gambill, Gary C.; Ziad K. Abdelnour (July 2001). "Dossier: Rafiq Hariri". Middle East Intelligence Bulletin 3 (7). Retrieved 17 March 2013.